Eartha Kitt has died and it’s funny the different things people think of immediately when mentioning her name. The sultry voice, Santa Baby, Catwoman on the Batman series, or — in my case — a huge (at the time) controversy over what she said to Lady Bird Johnson at a White House dinner.
As the Voice of America tells the story…
The president’s wife, Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, had invited Eartha Kitt with a group of other women to discuss the problem of youth crime. When Mrs. Johnson asked her guests for their thoughts, Kitt raised her hand and spoke out against the war in Vietnam, where young black men were serving and dying in disproportionate numbers. Mrs. Johnson reacted with shock, blinking back tears, and the incident made headlines.
In retaliation, President Johnson ordered the FBI and CIA to investigate her and she became blacklisted.
America has often felt most threatened by its singers.